Brief of Jingci Temple
Jingci Temple is one of Four Ancient Temples around West Lake. It's located at the foot of Huiri Peak of Nanping Hill. The Famous 'Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill' — one of Top Ten Views of West Lake — is about this temple. First built in 954 by King Qian Hongchu of Wuyue Kingdom for the eminent Monk — Yongming, the temple was then named Yongming Temple. During the southern Song Dynasty, it was renamed Jingci Temple.
What makes Jingci Temple such a draw to pilgrims from all around is the famous rebel monk Ji Gong (a.k.a. Crazy Ji) who lived here during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). People like this monk because of his flagrant disregard for decorum and monastic rules. He ate meat; He drank wine; He was arrogant. He didn't have proper summer or winter clothes. He was a scruffy drunk who could always be seen carrying an old fan and a gourd of wine, and any extra money he had went towards replenishing his wine supply. Yet, he was compassionate, generous, upright and honest. He gave to the poor and supposedly had magical powers to heal them. And he was a fantastic poet. Check out the smiling visage of Ji Gong at the rear of the main hall. He's small, but definitely one of the happier Buddhas you'll see. Jingci Temple is no Lingyin Temple (which is coincidentally where Ji Gong was ordained), but it does bare some historical significance.